Fine structure characterization of amylopectins from grain amaranth starch

Xiangli Kong, Harold Corke, Eric Bertoft*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to determine the fine structure of amylopectin from grain amaranth. Amaranthus amylopectin was hydrolyzed with α-amylase, and single clusters and a group of clusters (domain) were isolated by methanol precipitation. The domain and the clusters were treated with phosphorylase a and then β-amylase to remove all external chains, whereby the internal structure was obtained. The φ{symbol},β-limit dextrins were analyzed on Sepharose CL 6B. The average DP (degree of polymerization) and peak-DP values of fractions of clusters were 57 and 82, respectively; the values of the domain were 137 and 309, respectively. The unit chain length profiles were analyzed by high-performance anion-exchange chromatography with pulsed amperometric detector (HPAEC-PAD). The results showed that the domain fraction contained ∼2.2 clusters, and single clusters were composed of ∼13 chains. The φ{symbol},β-limit dextrins of the clusters were further hydrolyzed with α-amylase to characterize their building block composition. The average DP of the branched blocks was ∼11 and they contained on average ∼2.5 chains. Their average chain length, internal chain length, and degree of branching were approximately 4.3, 2.8, and 14, respectively. A cluster consisted of ∼6 branched blocks, and the internal chain length between the blocks was ∼6.8.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1701-1708
Number of pages8
JournalCarbohydrate Research
Issue number13
StatePublished - 8 Sep 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Amaranthus
  • Amylopectin
  • Building blocks
  • Cluster structure
  • Starch


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